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Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat to play for Team USA at 2018 World Championship

The Chicago forward is finally suiting up in the stars and stripes again.

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat said during the team’s season-ending meeting with reporters that he will play for the United States men’s hockey team at next month’s World Championship. The tournament is from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

DeBrincat, a rookie, scored a team-high 28 goals and tied for second in points at 52 with second-year player Nick Schmaltz. DeBrincat’s 24 assists ranked fifth on the team.

The Farmington Hills, Michigan, native has only suited up once for Team USA. DeBrincat scored one goal in five games during the 2016 World Junior Championship, but was left off the roster for the following year’s tournament. At the time of the final roster selection for the 2017 WJC, he had scored 30 goals and 60 points in only 28 games for the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League. After being left at home, he continued his dominant season with a league-leading 65 goals and 127 points to win the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player.

DeBrincat, who is listed at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, made Chicago’s main roster out of training camp, and put together one of the most impressive rookie seasons in franchise history. The highlight was his three hat tricks, which set a new franchise record and tied Tony Granto for most hat tricks by a U.S.-born rookie in a season.

While DeBrincat has stated he’ll compete at Worlds, teammate Nick Schmaltz is still deciding if he’ll play. Forward Brandon Saad said he will not play in the tournament and focus on his offseason training and upcoming wedding in July.

Team USA has struggled at Worlds, winning it only twice in 1933 and 1960. They have won bronze twice this decade in 2013 and 2015.